AYS DAILY DIGEST 30/10: Battle to break the siege of Aleppo keeps claiming innocent victims

… with mutual accusations of chemical weapons use / New clashes at Souda camp, Chios Island / Stalingrad station in Paris to be cleared in the coming week / War in Yemen cripples healthcare for millions / UK declines France’s request to take more Calais children / Refugees face lifetime ban to enter Australia if they arrive by boat / Donation and volunteer calls for Lebanon and Greece

White helmet Ibrahim rescuing a child. The organization is mourning his loss, killed by an attack on the way to rescue civilians in Aleppo.


The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, UK-based organization that reports on the war, confirmed reports of suffocation among government fighters in two frontline areas shelled by rebels, but it did not confirm it was caused by a gas attack. It did confirm that at least 38 people, including 14 children, were killed in rebel shelling of government-held areas of Aleppo in the last 2 days.

Without any kind of hope for the end of the conflict in the near future we can certainly expect that more people will try to leave the country for refuge.


The healthcare system in Yemen is on the brink of collapse as the UN estimates that 600 health facilities

Adding to these difficult conditions disease like dengue and cholera are spreading in a population that in certain areas is facing serious malnutrition.

Additionally, UNICEF estimates that 2.6 million children are at risk of contracting measles, and 1.8 million are at risk from diarrhea.

“If a peace agreement isn’t signed this month, I don’t think the health system can be saved” UNICEF’s Meritxell Relano” said in a BBC report published on October 14 of 2016

A report about the condition of hospitals in Sana’a, Yemen can be read here.


Deportation, challenges post return & re-migration!

This is not the story of only this family, but the story of many other families and adults who have never been to Afghanistan and are now returned to a country they know very little about and are treated like strangers!

Full story here!


Salam LADC volunteers

The volunteer group Salam LADC in Lebanon is looking for a coordinator at the moment, check out the link for more information.


There were reports that at the same time, on Lesvos, an undetermined number of refugees had a rally to protest delays in the process of their asylum applications in another episode of high tension on the overcrowded islands.

Therewere 54 new arrivals at the greek islands today, 49 to Samos and 5 to Kastellorizo setting the total on the islands at 15864.

Hotel City Plaza in Athens is making a call for donations, their immediate needs are toilet paper, washing powder, chlorine and large bin bags.

The group From Shoreham to Greece from England is going to ship 2 pallets of donations including clothes and educational resources to the Softex camp in Northern Greece and they have launched a fundraising. Follow this link if you can help.

Today there was also a kind request to help a Syrian man on a wheel chair in Oreokastro camp, north of Thessaloniki. He has very little mobility and his friends are wishing for someone that might be able to donate Abo Ahmad an electric wheelchair.

Abo Ahmad in Oreokastro camp

If you are interested to volunteer in Athens, the latest requirements and opportunities update was just published by Sumita Shah. So please consider one of these options from the list at the link.


Refugees in the area also report that they get a very bad treatment from the police in Serbia when they get caught which includes threats of getting shot, physical violence if they don’t go back across the border and there are also reports of the police pushing refugees to Macedonia even if they got into the country through another route.

“There is little difference between the ISIL, the Taliban, police and the limits that do not allow us to move. We ran into a lot of trouble,”

Nevertheless and even enduring very hard conditions and pushbacks many are still willing to try to reach their objective and usually end up paying great amounts of money to smugglers to do so.


During the trip searching for a refuge, large number of families lost at least a member. There is an initiative by the Red Cross of Serbia to help families to find lost members in Serbia, so they can be re-united again.


De Maizière’s draft was formed after the sexual attacks in Cologne in the New Year’s night in term of accelerated deportations of North Africans while deliberately having ignored assessments of experts. Whilst the leading Green Party member Volker Beck is hoping this draft won’t be put on the agenda of the Bundesrat (German “upper house”), the Ministry of the Interior is even still trying to spin a wider plan. Their aim is to sign bilateral contracts with North African countries in a similar manner to the EU Turkey Deal.

(Full story in German language at ZEIT.de)


Refugee tents between Stalingrad and Jaures metro stations

The makeshift camp near Stalingrad metro station in Paris is due to be cleared in the now beginning week according to the Prime minister Manuel Valls.

Following the evacuation of the ‘Jungle’ in Calais, the camp at Stalingrad is now the largest in France, with some 2,000 people in makeshift accommodation there. Now the government says it will address the situation in Paris.

“We have evacuated Calais, and will address the issue of Paris next week, where there are 2,000 people who need to be protected and are entitled to protection.”

Evacuees will be taken to reception centers, the regional official Jean-François Carenco said.

Volunteers on the ground have confirmed information about imminent evacuation of the areas possibly starting as early as Monday morning, concentrating initially on the Ave. de Flandres where most of the Sudanese gather. They also state that refugees have been approaching them asking when the centers will be open as the weather conditions are deteriorating and they don’t want to be on the street. On the other hand it is hard to know how the services will cope with the constant arrival of more people to Paris since new people keep arriving every day.

In the meanwhile there are still many people at the “jungle”, even if the the French government claims it did a great job clearing the area and many of these now sleeping on the street are minors. With no support from official organisations or big NGOs have been the volunteers who take care and protect the ones left behind, even looking after the refugees at night when they are more vulnerable. Both refugees and volunteers feel abandoned by the British and French governments.

“Where are the French and British governments? Where is the British Red Cross or Oxfam or any other heavily funded organizations?”

by Kitchen Calais

At the same time the French president François Hollande called on the UK to consider its moral duty and take their fair share of the 1500 asylum-seekers children in Calais.

“Their transfer to Britain is urgent,” he added. “We ask you to take your responsibilities and assume your moral duty by immediately organising their arrival.”

The British prime minister, Teresa may, has declined though to make any extra commitments on receiving child refugees affected by the demolition of the Calais refugee camp. Downing Street said the UK has already taken a “considerable number of unaccompanied minors”, and several hundred more children and young people would be arriving in the coming weeks.


Migrants face lifetime ban from entering Australia if they arrive by boat

The ban will not apply to children.

Source: The Guardian

Daily news digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and refugees on the route, but also for journalists and other parties.

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